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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

MPC - Toy Soldiers

Multiple Products Corporation, also known as MPC and Multiple Toymakers, was an American manufacturer of plastic figures, playsets and toys in general that was in business during the 50s and 60s. Not to be confused with Model Products Corporation which was in the business of model cars and vehicles. In terms of WWII figures they produced several sets covering some of the main participating nations. Their sculpting style is quite unique in the sense that most figures are tall and slim. Definitely on the larger side of 54mm. In addition to the 54 mm figures, they also had a line of 60mm figures that came with 'ring hands' which allowed them to hold different weapons and equipment. 

MPC German Infantry - Part I
These guys are not my favorite. A bit too stiff for my taste. Even the man who is displaying a bit of action, throwing the grenade, does not seem to be well balanced. The second man from the right is probably the best pose. In terms of uniqueness, the brightest spot on this set is the Filed Marshal with the baton, not seen among other manufacturers.


MPC German Infantry - Part II
A few more less-than-ideal guys. The prone guy is OK, but he is really on the longer/taller side. The guy on the left looks like he is asking for a ball to be thrown to him. The guy on the right really looks like a 2-D figure.


MPC Japanese Infantry - Part I
Again, the figures tend to be on the tall and slim side, but they are a notch better than the Germans. And even if they are not the best sculpted guys out there, I have a soft spot for old figures like these, and I trust that once they are painted, their appearance will improve.

MPC Japanese Infantry - Part II
The guy without a base tends to fall over, and the rifle strap belonging to the second guy from the left is often broken when you find these figures. The same goes for the tripod on the machine gun. So if you find these guys without broken weapons grab them!



MPC US Infantry - Part I
As far as MPC figures go, I think this is one of their better sets. The guys are not as tall and the posing of the figures reflcts a bit more action and better balance. As you can see, once they are painted they look quite acceptable. 


MPC US Infantry - Part II
The guy on the right is my preferred one from this batch. The prone guy is much on the skinny side for my taste. The guy on the right has an uncanny resemblance to one of the Marx figures. I wonder who got inspired by who?

MPC US Infantry - Part III
Here are somme additional guys which I found without even realizing that they existed. Based on the sculpting I am guessing that they are MPC but I am not 100% sure as that would mean that they made two guys swinging/clubbing with their rifles. Anyhow, they came in a large batch of mixed figures, which is why I love those batches :-) If you can confirm or deny please leave a comment!

MPC US Infantry - Part IV ?
Here's another mystery. Not really sure if this guy is an MPC figure. However his sculpting reminds me of the ring hand MPC guys. But in this case, he has regular hands. If anybody knows his origins, please let us know.

MPC Soviet Infantry
I have mixed feelings about this set. The 4 guys at the ends of this picture are OK, but the other guys are a bit odd. Like what's up with that guy doing that funny step? The cossack officer is a nice touch, but he seems to be a bit off balance. And the guy throwing the grenade seems to have a stiff neck.


MPC Ring Hand US Infantry
I only have one figure from this set, and it came without a weapon. Apparently you could put a variety of accessories on them and produce several different figures. I find it an interesting idea. Maybe at some point I will find the rest of his buddies. BTW, he is a 60mm guy.

Click here to see other German soldiers
Click here to see other Soviet soldiers
Click here to see other US GIs
Click here to see other Japanese soldiers

4 comments:

  1. Hi!

    I found your blog while searching for plastic soldiers online. I used to have a whole bunch of them when I was young, but most of them have been lost now (although I'm sure I'll find a lot of them if I go digging into my old sandbox!)

    As they don't sell toy soldiers anymore in Finland, I looked up online and found the eaxct same figures I used to have. You wrote about them the 4th of october, the matchbox set. I always thought they were the most authentic ones even when I was a kid.

    As I found your blog, I'm now inspired to paint once I get them and I will be using your pictures as models.

    Thanks for a great blog!

    best,
    Alvar
    Finland

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  2. Thanks a lot for your feedback Alvar. I am very happpy that you found the blog useful and that now you are motivated to rebuild your collection and paint some guys. The more folks in the hobby, the greater our chances of us seeing manufacturers produce new sets!
    BTW, I also like the Matchbox guys quite a bit, as I also grew up with them. Nice to hear that you found them!

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  3. I Recently found some MPC US Infantry Light Gray Army Men that have one figure I have never seen before a walking Radioman. So are there Other Companies that made Toy Soldier MPC look a likes or is this an old not often used Old Rarity from the 60's?

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  4. I am not aware of that pose. In fact the only standing radio man that I am aware of among the US troops is the one from matchbox. Any chance that's the one?

    ReplyDelete